Legal Ethics

Top NJ Court Nixes Ethics Sanction re Law Firm Website's Display of Credential Attorney Didn't Earn


The New Jersey supreme court today dismissed a disciplinary case today against an attorney whose law firm website displayed a credential he hadn’t earned, but warned other lawyers to be more careful about reviewing online content.

Ty Hyderally of Hyderally & Associates in Montclair said he had his cousin, a California-based designer, create his website. He said he never told his cousin to include the “New Jersey Supreme Court Certified Attorney” seal, nor realized it was displayed on multiple pages of the site for two years, Reuters recounts.

Meanwhile, the cousin said he had assumed the seal was given to all New Jersey lawyers. In fact, only about 1,500 of the state’s nearly 90,000 lawyers have been certified.

There was disagreement at multiple levels of the attorney disciplinary process about whether or not Hyderally should be reprimanded. He said he had the seal taken off the site as soon as he knew it was there, and the supreme court said clear and convincing evidence that the lawyer had intentionally included it on the site was lacking.

Hyderally told Reuters he is relieved the case has been concluded in a manner that is positive for him.

Earlier coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “Lawyer Lands in Ethics Trouble After Cousin Spiffs Up Law Firm Website with Certification Seal”

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